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FTSE 100 preview: Index to extend gains as trade concerns ease

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The FTSE 100 looks set to start the last trading day of the week in positive territory, with investors around the world shrugging off trade concerns. Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) will be in focus today following a Reuters report that it is planning to set up a third EU subsidiary in Luxembourg.

Index to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the FTSE 100 will start trading 0.36 percent higher at 7,394 points. The blue-chip index is likely to take cues from the US, where the Dow posted its first record close since January, with trade tensions between Washington and Beijing taking the back seat.

“I’m not at all surprised investors are taking the latest tariffs and the more muted response from China as a positive,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones, as quoted by CNBC. The newswire further quoted JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as playing down the conflict, calling it a skirmish and not a trade war. Asian shares have also extended their gains this morning, following the upbeat US close.

At home, the Footsie rose in the previous session, adding 36.20 points to close 0.49 percent higher at 7,367.32, with investors hoping that the trade tension between the US and China is subsiding.

Friday’s agenda

Today’s macroeconomic releases include the flash September manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for France, Germany and the eurozone, due out between 08:00 BST and 09:00 BST. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US flash manufacturing and services PMI for September will be announced at 14:45 BST.

In company releases, Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) is due to update investors this morning. Reuters meanwhile reports that Lloyds  is looking to set up a third European Union subsidiary in Luxembourg to serve longstanding life insurance customers after Britain quits the bloc.

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